The Madison Dialogue has been perhaps the most critical organization in the development of higher standards in the jewelry sector. This document, recently released, explains the history and objective of the Madison Dialogue at this time.
~Marc Choyt, Publisher, Fairjewelry.org
The Madison Dialogue is a cross-sector initiative established to promote communication and information sharing among companies, civil society groups and others seeking to encourage best practices, sustainable economic development, and verified sources of responsible gold, diamonds and other minerals. Organizations, companies and individuals participate in the Madison Dialogue on a voluntary basis.
The Madison Dialogue was launched at a meeting in New York (on Madison Avenue), in August 2006. Participants in that meeting included EARTHWORKS, WWF, Partnership Africa Canada, Tiffany & Co. Foundation, the Responsible Jewellery Council, the Diamond Development Initiative, Jewelers of America, Conservation International, Leber Jeweler and others.
Participants in the Madison Dialogue also take part in a number of other initiatives working on sustainable development, best practice, and certification or assurance in the sector. These include the Kimberley Process, the Diamond Development Initiative, the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), and the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), as well as other initiatives to specifically certify and track responsibly produced gold, diamonds and other minerals through the supply chain.
Several Madison Dialogue Working Groups also grew out of the first Madison Dialogue Summit, a live meeting held in October, 2007, in Washington, DC, among about 100 members of the Madison Dialogue. Working Groups are meeting separately in a number of areas, including diamonds, colored gemstones, precious metals, manufacturing, and recycling, in order to discuss the establishment of principles, standards, and assurance/certification systems in those discrete sectors. Some working groups are even devising drafts of principles or standards for their sectors.
It’s important to point out, however, that the Madison Dialogue was not set up to be an organization that itself finalizes standards or certifies companies, products or industry sectors. Madison Dialogue participants may look to a number of existing organizations working in these areas, including groups such as ARM, IRMA and RJC, or member organizations working under the umbrella of the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations (FLO) International, and FLO-CERT GBMH, among others.
Some of the above-named groups have joined or plan to join the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling (ISEAL) Alliance, an organization of leading voluntary international standard-setting and conformity assessment organizations that focus on social and environmental issues. ISEAL has published comprehensive guidance for good practice in voluntary social and environmental standard setting and certification (www.isealalliance [dot] org).
Madison Dialogue Working Group individual participants may themselves commit their individual organizations, institutions or companies to a process of finalizing and vetting standards and developing verification systems in an effective, credible manner. If they do so, however, it is their individual organizations and not the Madison Dialogue that are making that commitment. Madison Dialogue individual participants who wish to create new standards setting and verification systems in the jewelry supply chain are advised to follow best practice standards, to ensure that their systems are robust.
Since the Madison Dialogue is primarily a communications and information sharing venue, its list serve and website are used to post research and papers, as well as updates and announcements from its participants. Thus far, three Madison Dialogue White Papers have been specifically published by the website and are posted here.
To Participate In the Madison Dialogue
To participate in the Madison Dialogue and to be listed as a participating organization, please send a message to lcotler [at] earthworksaction [dot] org.